February 14, 2011

John William & Frances Elizabeth Little Coffey

John Wm. Coffey
Fannie Little
John William was the second child and first son born to Elijah and Mary Ann Nelson Coffey.  He was born in Patterson Twp., Caldwell Co., NC on Jun. 18, 1869 and died June. 11, 1960 in Raleigh, Wake Co., NC.  He married on Dec. 14, 1898 in Raleigh Frances Elizabeth "Fannie" Little.  Fannie was born Mar. 7, 1878 in Concord, Cabarrus Co., NC and died in Raleigh on Nov. 30, 1967.  They lived out their lives in Wake Co., and are buried at Montlawn Memorial Park in Raleigh.


John and Fannie were the parents of three girls and one boy.  Natalie Little Coffey was their first born, Sep. 25, 1899, died Sep. 22, 1996.

Obituary, The News & Observer, Raleigh, NC, 24 September 1996

Natalie Little Coffey
RALEIGH--Natalie Little Coffey, died Sunday at age 96 at Mayview Convalescent Center.  She was born in Raleigh on September 25, 1899, the eldest child of John William Coffey and Frances Elizabeth Little. She attended public schools in this city, graduating from Raleigh High School in 1916.  She afterwards attended the North Carolina College for Women at Greensboro, graduating with an A.B. degree in 1920, and a M.A. in 1929.  Her affection for her alma mater was constant throughout her life, and for many years, she served as president of her class.

Education was her calling.  Miss Coffey was one of Raleigh's legendary teachers, honored and beloved by generations of students who cherished her as a counselor and friend.  She began her career in Rocky Mount where she taught for two years.  Returning to Raleigh, she served as an instructor in English and Spanish at Raleigh High School for two years, Hugh Morson High School for 30 years, and Broughton High School for 10 years.  She retired in 1965 after 44 years of service.  Her love and concern for her students extended far beyond the classroom.  Driving a little blue-and-black coupe, affectionately nicknamed the "Coffey Can," she would cheerfully ferry as many as seventeen kids to football games, plays, and concerts.  During the World War II she even coached the Hugh Morson golf team to a state championship.

For much of her life she lived in Boylan Heights with her parents.  In retirement she devoted herself to her family, especially to the children for whom she was their adored "Nannie."  She was a lifelong and devoted member of Edenton Street Methodist Church where she taught Sunday School.

She was preceded in death by her parents, her brother, John N. Coffey, and her sister, Mary Lou C. Miller.

She is survived by a sister, Frances C. Green of Charlotte; two nephews, John N. Coffey Jr. of Raleigh, and Thomas G. Coffey of Naples, Florida; two nieces, Mrs. Herbert B. Magill of Charlotte, and Linda M. Young of Cary; and 11 grandnieces and grandnephews.

A graveside service will be held 11 a.m. Wednesday, September 25, in Montlawn Memorial Park.
 Other children to follow.



Photos and obituary courtesy of John Coffey of Raleigh

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